A full-service, independent insurance agency, Carlson & Carlson, Incorporated, is an industry leader in providing personalized service and a wealth of product knowledge, but more than that, the team there aims to go beyond their customer base in helping nonprofits of the community it serves. “Our company reflects the personality of the owners and we have always been involved in giving back to the community,” says Peter Carlson, Jr., president at Carlson & Carlson. “This comes from a family history of volunteerism, which has been carried down through the generations.”
Which have been your longest and most impactful partnerships in the community and how did you connect with those organizations?
We have been supporting the Greenwich Old Timers Athletic Association since the 1960s. My father, Peter Carlson, Sr., was the first in our family to be involved and was honored by them in 1988. We continue to support the organization and I currently serve on the board of directors.
I have been involved as a board member of the Red Cross for more than 10 years and have been involved in numerous projects with them, including running their golf outing to raise funds to installing smoke detectors in homes in at-risk communities.
I have also been a leading fundraiser every year for Swim Across America Fairfield County for the benefit of the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy in Stamford, CT. My team (Team Julian) is one of the top fundraising teams in the country.
What inspires you to choose those organizations to partner with?
I choose these organizations year after year because we can see and feel that what we are doing is making an impact.
My father was a professional baseball pitcher with the Braves Minor League teams for several years after college. He became very active in coaching and starting various sports teams in town, including junior and senior Babe Ruth Baseball teams. Because of this interest, he became active in the OldGreenwich/Riverside Community Center as a baseball, football and basketball coach and with the Greenwich Recreation Board as an advisor.
The Red Cross is there to assist those in need during disasters, similar to what we see and do in our business when disaster strikes our clients. Swim Across America raises funds for life-saving cancer research and clinical trials and we are all affected by cancer in one way or another.
How do you include employees in giving back and encourage them to do so?
We ask each of our employees to pick a charity that they are passionate about and to get involved with that charity. My cousins and business partners are Tripp Freeman and Doug Carlson. Tripp has been involved as a board member and or volunteer with River House, Person to Person, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Swim Across America to name a few. Doug Carlson has been the President of The Old Greenwich Lion’s Club at various times and a member for over 30 years. We have past and current employees become active volunteers or board members of other charities likes Hope’s Door, the Boys & Girls Club, American Cancer Society, Pathfinders, and the YWCA. We take an active interest and support them and the organization they are involved in.
This year you celebrate a company anniversary. How do you plan to commemorate that milestone through charity work?
This is our 100th anniversary and it will also be my 10th anniversary swimming for Swim Across America. We hope that we can get our lives back to normal and be involved in the fundraising that we have done in the past. We will also ask the insurance companies that we represent to join us in supporting these causes as they have done every year. We have made a good start. Our friends, clients, vendors and the insurance companies we represent have always been generous in their support of the charities we are involved in.
“Our company reflects the personality of the owners and we have always been involved in giving back to the community…This comes from a family history of volunteerism, which has been carried down through the generations.”
With a company that spans the continent, how do you coordinate your charity work in NYC, Greenwich and LA?
We have employees on both coasts who are very charitably minded. We will support the organizations our employees support, no matter where they are.
How to Help
“When I raise money for Swim Across America, everyone is always very supportive,” says Carlson. “Hundreds of people reach into their pockets to support me when I swim those three long miles in the Long Island Sound.” To contribute, visit his fundraising page at swimacrossamerica.org.
Presented by Carlson & Carlson, INC
President Peter Carlson, Jr., CIC, CAPI
15 Wilmot Ln, Riverside, CT